William Hone to John Childs, 11 December, 1820

[1780-1818] - [1818-1824] - [1825-1832] - [1832-1842] - Hone Correspondence

William Hone to John Childs, 11 December, 1820.1-TEI-


11 Dec. 1820
Dear Childs,

I have great satisfaction from your letter this morning announcing that enough has been obtained for Mr. Scraggs,2 and a little mortification on learning that part of the sums subscribed are to be directed to some public charity. Assuredly some of those who have subscribed here, will be dissatisfied if the surplus be thus appropriated and I, for one, can conceive no reason for it, unless Scraggs be unworthy of further assistance, which you have given me no reason to imagine. Pray do not suffer any clamour of the Bungay loyalists to misdirect a single shilling from its intended object—Give it him all.

I have however returned a Guinea to George Cruikshank from whom I extracted it, over a "pint stamp," on Saturday night, or, (orthodoxy forgive me) rather on Sunday morning—and I have likewise returned another Guinea to another good fellow who could better afford a sentiment than a sixpence—To revert however to the surplus — Scraggs is a fool & does not know what is good for him, and therefore you & his other friends ought to, and must secure the amount, whatever it be, for his exclusive benefit. Do this.

Property is encumbering in some forms. In the shape of money it is confounded annoying. If you have it, you naturally divide it with some destitute and distressed fellow creatures, and then divide the remainder; till the quotient is indivisible. And if you have it in the shape of a house you as naturally let in some unhappy shelterless devil as a tenant, upon whom you haven't the heart to levy a distress for the rent. That is, I mean that cash and tenements are to me teazing alike, and if I had not surrendered myself to certain Trustees, who kindly convert to their own use and behoof, any and all manner of Income and Proceeds, arising out of and from divers, to wit, sundry Houses, and Ladders, and other things, or from the sale thereof, I say were it not for said Trust[torn] viz. 1 Sarah, 2 Matilda, 3 Fanny, 4 William, 5 Alfred, 6 John, 7 Em[ma], 8 Rose, &, 9 Samuel Parr Hone, on the body of my wife Sarah (another Trustee for us is) lawfully begotten, I say I do believe were it not for said kind [care?] and consumption, as aforesaid, I should have been not worth a groat or a family. Money is the devil to me, and, if I had it, Land would be Hell, which being interpreted signifieth Torment.

Thank you & your good brother for Hares—such Hares! — I am absolutely under an indigestion from devouring part of one because I could not abstain from the temptation to eat as much as I could of it — and then a brace today! "Visions of glory spare my aching sight!"3 I sent the stoutest to the Wife of our friend the tall stationer, the other will be jugged for our dinner on Wednesday, when we shall laugh at recollections of the donor and drink his & his wife's, their family's health. I am not fond of giving advice but pray tell your brother to get married without delay. It sharpens a man's capabilities, & enlarges his powers of usefulness, and concentrates his mind to one object. Tell him that marriage is Nature's art of stereotyping—besides a man should begin while he can fuse[?] — years roll over him & he vitrifies.

I am, Dear Childs, yours faithfully
W Hone

Mr. John Childs,

British Library, Add. MS 40120, ff. 150-51. [return]
A notice of the subscription in the Times of 9 December lists more than 15 subscribers who had collectively already contributed well over the required £100. [return]
from Thomas Gray's The Bard, line 107. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-20